by Janina Aza Karpinska
Taste the Sunshine
As a multidisciplinary artist-poet I scavenge for material, ideas and inspiration wherever I go. Happily, a chance discovery of Tom Phillips’s A Humument: A treated Victorian novel not only inspired my own experimentation, but also gave me the words I lacked at a time when I was painfully shy and socially mute. The altered book went on to become a favoured way of journal-keeping and the subject of a dissertation.
Many years later I was invited to join a ‘Twisted Fairy Tale’ exhibition, which led to the creation of The Goldilocks Files – a collection of Goldilocks books which I altered in different ways (and have since kept up as an ongoing practice). I love how one very familiar story can yield so many interpretations.
Today I like to offer and demonstrate this technique in creative writing workshops, most especially for those who insist they can’t write. There’s no need when all the words are provided upfront! The method also suits those with little time to spare for introspection or expression: carers, new parents, those working several jobs, or those struggling with the effects of long-term unemployment. Creativity is my life-saver, sanity-restorer and greatest pleasure. I feel very fortunate to have discovered a lifelong resource and do all I can to share it with others.
Janina Aza Karpinska is an artist-poet from the south coast of England. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing & Personal Development, with poetry and artwork published in several magazines worldwide. Predominantly a collage-artist, she uses the same approach in her creative arts practice, using disparate scraps to make a cohesive whole, working intuitively with a keen eye and fast hand. Discovering, by happenstance, the technique used by Tom Phillips changed her life, providing creative expression just when she needed it most.